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I’m upgrading my 429 CJ in my Ranchero (4000 lbs, 2400-stall C6, 3.5 gears) for the best performance I can get consistent with a daily driver. I’m leaning towards the Crain Cams hydraulic roller: HR-228/345-2S-14 with 228/238 at .050, 114 separation and .590/.614 lift.

I’m stuck on what head casting to go with.

“Everyone” says the Ford D0VE castings cleaned up with CJ-sized valves are the best way to go with only 429 CID. I’ve found plenty of people using these heads successfully in similar applications. Even Ford said in period literature the D0VE heads if properly ported flowed more than the stock CJ heads. And the ported D0VE heads will still have smaller port volume than my CJ heads so they’re certainly respond better at lower RPM.

But what I haven’t had a lot of luck substantiating is if this is really better than using a cleaned up ’70 CJ head. Since the CJ heads are rare, most people don’t have an opportunity to work with them, but I’ve got a set on my ride right now. There seems to be substantial agreement that my original stock CJ heads have pretty poor exhaust ports that can be improved a lot. At least the ports can be visually improved, but what I can’t verify is if porting out all these bumps in my stock ’70 CJ heads results in a head that really flows well.

I would appreciated any suggestions for which head to use, and who to have do the porting and assembly.

Walt Barnes aka Thunder Snake #8, [email protected]

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(no login) Untitled
No score for this post November 27 2000, 6:06 PM

I think you would be happier with the smaller port heads if nothing else driveability.Also
those small port heads tend to generate a better torque curve that is more compatable with street use.However they do respond well to modifications
By simply cleaning up the exhaust port and removing the hump will give you about 12 hp and I also found that if you open up the top radius about .125" that will also improve air flow ...just make sure you open up your headers and/or manifolds acccordingly.
If you do put CJ valves in these heads make sure that you blend the bowls to remove sudden transitions from the larger area around the valves to the smaller bowl size
I used this setup on a .030" over 460 in a 2800lb Fairmont that ran consistent 6.80s in the 1/8th mile and never run it over 6400 rpm;so they will work well for you

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Chris C
(no login) Head choices
No score for this post November 28 2000, 9:25 AM

I'd have to agree with Glen. With that heavy a vehicle, you will want the velocity of the normal port. Both have terrible exhaust ports, do most of the work there and you'll be close. I am having trouble with my scanner but I just read an old mag. article that clearly showed the DOVE heads outflowing the CJ heads when they were ported, and actually doing well compared to ported CJ's. Also, the ported stockers outflowed (exhaust side) Aluminum CJ's if I remember correctly.
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